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Shoorveer

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Thank God It Is Friday and with it there are loads of new releases which have already overwhelmed me in more ways than one. But after a deep breath, we will have a go at each one of them, one by one. So first up, I finished watching the new Hindi series Shoorveer on Hotstar. It was only recently that I had watched the sequel of Top Gun titled Top Gun Maverick and I was simply blown away by it. I remember watching Top Gun years ago and was fascinated by the technicalities behind the Air Force and the planes which they fly(fascinated did not necessarily mean I understood all the details). Since then the representation of the Indian Air Force has been minimalistic with either bad attempts like in Mausam or being reduced to ‘a thumbs up in the air’ moment after a mission in Border. You may attribute it to budget constraints along with necessary skills related to the execution of the drama but the truth is that there hasn’t really been a breakthrough. So when the series Shoorveer was announced, I was really looking forward to what it would serve out. Now that I have finished Shoorveer, here are my two cents on it.

Story & Screenplay

Shoorveer follows the story of an elite new body ‘Hawks’ being formed following a terror attack. What would be their first mission? In many ways than one, you could look at this story as an origin story leading up to the first Mission of ‘The Hawks’ and it is definitely enthralling and entertaining. The screenplay standing at 8 episodes of roughly 30 odd minutes means that this series can be easily binge watched in a single go.

The screenplay slowly takes its time to develop by introducing you to the main players amidst a terror attack which takes place. The writing here does include many technical jargons which I found to be pretty interesting but the same may not apply to everyone. Some people maybe put off by the excessive use of jargons although that in no way hampers the main drama at hand. The template at the very beginning will remind you of the Hollywood film Top Gun.

If you remember the virtual simulations which the players did undergo in Top Gun as a part of the preparation, a similar style is also implemented here. The main players do undergo a set of challenges which are fairly interesting although a few of them could have been written and executed better. A couple of subplots involving the issues with the plane parts would remind you of the recently released series Code M(season 2). This while the underlying threat of an attack looms large always.

The drama is fairly predictable and you can easily guess the beats of the drama. One minor drawback was the representation of some of the “faceless” characters(the ones who are guarding a post or the ones moving a captured terrorist from one spot to another) who are shown as dimwits. Also the drama gets slightly repetitive in the middle. But while the drama makes its way towards the end, the pace picks up leading to some engaging and thrilling moments including the final act which was quite enthralling. Overall, a well penned screenplay although not completely flawless.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues range from impactful to cheesy to just plain stereotypical. I would like to bring the example of the second season of Avrodh and how effective the dialogues were in that series. The reason was that they had kept it simple instead of highlighting every issue with a heavy punchline. To be fair, some punchlines work well too but in some scenes it just took a little shine off it. Also, can we do away with the word ‘Janaab’ please for our neighbours across the border? Literally no one talks like that(although there wasn’t an overdose of it here). The BGM is excellent and it elevates many scenes especially the ones of combat. The VFX stands out like a sore thumb and you instantly know that the budget of the series wasn’t high. The cardboard cut outs and the green screen just dilutes the impact of the drama. Director Kanishk Varma who had earlier directed Sanak and the third season of Inside Edge, does a pretty good job here. He is able to hold the attention of the audience throughout and in its process scores in the direction department.

Performances

The performances are pretty good here. Jiten Lalwani, Amit Behl, Harman Singha and Kuldeep Sareen have their moments to shine. Mohit Chauhan as PM Chandra Shekhar, Abhishek Saha as Shome and Sahil Mehta as Perry are first rate. Faisal Rashid as Sidhesh is pretty good. It was a pleasure watching Makarand Deshpande as Milind and Arif Zakaria as Riaz both of whom were so well restrained and never went overboard with their roles. These could so easily have been caricatures but the experienced veterans ensured that these were excellent performances. Preeti Gupta as Roma is fabulous, Shivya Pathania as Preeti is really endearing and affable. Manish Chaudhari as Ranjan pulls off his role with a lot of dignity and panache. Kashmira Irani as Sarah is outstanding in a role that I could never have imagined her in. I really wish to watch more of her going forward. Anjali Barot as Manju definitely leaves a pleasant impression and she does a swell job. Aadil Khan as Salim has a towering personality and he is simply brilliant. He really shows a wide range on a canvass which allows him to express himself. He is surely a talent to watch out for. Ditto for Armaan Ralhan who is quite good as Viraj. He particularly manages to impress towards the backend of the series where he comes in his own elements in a scene which gave me goosebumps simply by his presence(the briefing room scene). Regina Cassandraa as Avantika is pretty good here especially in scenes where she has to internalize her emotions. She definitely holds her own although her character was a touch underwritten.

Conclusion

Shoorveer is an engaging and enthralling watch which is well worth your time. Available on Hotstar.

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